True Citizenship

All of us have talent. That talent will differ from person to person and since no two people are alike, there are a lot of different talents out there.

When I was done with school I found myself with a little more free time on my hands. I knew that I had graduated with new and improved design skills. I have knowledge and equipment others may not have access to and a drive to accomplish more. I thought about the things that I was passionate about. Design, illustration, storytelling, marketing, education, animals. What could I do that would combine my passions but also benefit my community?

That was how Worth a Shot was born. I knew all of these designers and photographers who wanted to volunteer but didn’t know how. I knew I could donate some time each week to volunteering and that I could help my fellow alumni connect with potential volunteer opportunities. From there I researched local animal shelters and rescues, made contacts, set up social networks and started photographing adoptable dogs and cats in the Columbus area. It was much easier for me than for a lot of people who were trying to do the same thing without my skillset. 

It turns out that if you make it easy for people to volunteer and if you connect people with opportunities that fit their talents, a lot of good things happen. Worth a Shot functioned for two years. I have since had to cut back in order to devote time to freelance and personal work and many of my contacts have since changed jobs, but I have made friends that will remain contacts and I now know how to connect the right people with the right opportunity. 

Honestly, it’s not that hard. If we all took a few hours to assess our skillset and find a way to relate it to our passions we could be making the world a much better place. We could have accountants offering monthly classes on money management or arts teacher offering craft classes at the local library. We have all of these buildings, programs, people available to us and if people would just take an hour or two every week or every month to offer their services we could help so many people. 

Since, government spending has always been a major, controversial issue. No one wants to pay extra taxes but we all care about the things that those taxes pay for. What I’ve never been able to understand is why, if we care so much about our money, we don’t spend more time volunteering. We wouldn’t need all of these government programs if people had access to the help they needed through the community. This would leave our tax dollars free to pay for the bigger things that can’t be done through volunteer work alone. 

I guess what I am trying to say is, offer up your time. It can be as little as an hour a month helping your elderly neighbor pick up his or her groceries. Finding out how to use your skills to help your community is easier now than it’s ever been. So stop. Stop reading this, open Google and start researching.

Volunteer. Help your community. Save the world. 

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